At the best of times, the Academy Awards inspire something within us that reminds us career breakthroughs are possible. That something magical can happen to all of us and that the real reason we got into this business was to create something meaningful and powerful that could be shared with the world.
I think it’s less about winning an award and more about the effort it takes to achieve something of purpose and value.
At the worst of times though (Gulp!), events like these can also simultaneously put us in our heads because they trigger our human propensity to compare-and-despair.
I wasn’t invited to Elton John’s party!
The closest thing I’ve come to walking a red carpet is vacuuming one.
Everyone there seems to be part of some secret inner circle. And I can’t ever crack the code.
The only movie I’ve done in the last year was dubbed into Cantonese and my role ended up on the cutting room floor!
But these are just our neurological grooves of habituated thinking that make us feel that what we want is unreachable. But in reality, what we want is just a couple feet away.
It’s a movie away. It’s a job away. It’s an opportunity away. It’s an offer away.
And it can all change on a dime.
In our minds we lengthen that chasm between where we are and where we’d like to be and distort the reality to make it seem like it’s the Grand Canyon. But the world of possibility demonstrates that it’s all there for us.
Look at June Squibb or Barkhad Abdi. I’m not sure they thought they were in a position to be nominated for an award over a year ago.
The chasm is smaller than you think.
Academy Award winner, Lupita Nyong’o said something interesting in one of her acceptance speeches. She discussed The Seduction of Inadequacy – which I’ve often referred to as The Seduction of Suffering. It’s the same thing.
It is seductive to believe that we’re inadequate. Untalented. That we don’t measure up. Are incapable.
Tina Fey recently said, “Every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance-hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a 10-year old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama and doll tits. This is why everyone is struggling.”
This speaks to the Seduction of Inadequacy mentality.
Stop subscribing to these external ideas of what beauty or talent or success or outer achievement or notoriety looks like. None of it’s real and only further exacerbates our false belief that we aren’t enough.
What’s actually more seductive – and produces inner happiness (and outer results!) – is to believe the truth. And that truth includes you knowing that you’re capable and brilliant and magnificent and complex and deserving. That within you is the blueprint for genius.
That’s not just seductive. It’s downright Hot!
Even if you don’t always believe it and it seems easier to be seduced by the false stories we tell ourselves – enforced by the imagery of what we consume everyday – fake it until you make it. And eventually you’ll start to believe it yourself.
And then your Academy Award won’t feel quite so far away.